U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly signed a memorandum Thursday revoking an Obama-era program commonly known as DAPA, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. The program intends to offer a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrant parents whose children are either residents or citizens of the U.S. While Obama proposed the program in 2014, it was blocked by a federal court in 2015 and never formally implemented. Thursday’s memorandum marks the first time the Trump administration has taken a definitive stance on the policy.
In a Thursday press release, the Department of Homeland Security argued that DAPA had already seen its day in court. “There is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy,” the memo reads. DAPA was previously the subject of a lawsuit from 26 states, all with Republican governors, who argued that Obama did not have the authority to grant such widespread amnesty. Following a temporary suspension of the policy in February 2015, a three-member panel of the Fifth Circuit affirmed the ruling in November 2015. The Justice Department later appealed the decision, but a split vote from the Supreme Court in June 2016 prevented any changes from being made.